Gang Busters (1942) a Universal serial based on the radio series Gang Busters. Professor Mortis and his gang, The League of Murdered Men, terrorize the city by a crime wave. Detective Bill Bannister, his partner Tim Nolan and police chief Martin O'Brien investigate the activities of this gang. Reporters Vicki Logan and her photographer Happy Haskins investigate as well.
July 1, 2013
Not a total waste of time
First off, this is not "Classic TV," it's a 1942 movie serial. There was a Gang Busters TV series in 1952, but this is completely unrelated to that show, and to the radio show on which it is supposedly based. The radio show focused on (supposedly) real police cases and police procedure. This serial does feature a little police procedure, but mostly it's a typical cliffhanging crime serial, complete with a mysterious, melodramatic villain called Professor Mortis, so-named for his ability to bring criminals back from the dead. Ralph Morgan as Mortis gives a Grade Z performance, as does William Haade as gunsel Mike Taboni, but the rest of the cast is at a solid B level, including King Kong's Robert Armstrong as Det. Nolan and Kent Taylor as the hero, Lt. Bannister. The dub to digital format is badly underexposed and of poor quality, but doesn't look too bad on a small screen. Of interest mainly to fans of 1940's movie serials, who will have seen much better in the genre.